What it takes to reinvent oneself

The traditional written press has had to undergo a continuous process of reinvention to adapt to the current model of multimedia, meaning that they’ve got broadcast news through all of the platforms that this digital age has created to open channels to said news.

For decades, newspapers’ journalists specialized in five genres that had their particular characteristics and rules: the news, the chronicle, the report, the analysis & opinion and the photo-news.

They had a 24-hour threshold to collect, check, contextualize and publish their work, after putting it through different filters, and the professional effort focused on the contents that could be exclusive or different than those of their competitors.

The public was first informed of all the elements that were part of the news and for that reason it was necessary that the contents had quality, precision, depth and novelty.

These premises are still valid as pillars of quality journalism, enduring all the risks that could deform it in the new spectrum of social communications of this digital age.

Now they face a deadline of no longer than a few minutes to deliver the news to the public on their digital platforms, to the stress of depurating and checking them in a shorter time than usual, to incorporate images, videos or animated graphics and to use different languages ??or the disposition of texts tailored to the tastes of the users of the different platforms or networks.

This apprenticeship is the bridge that connects the traditional culture of journalism with the modern one, without losing what’s essential for both.

The adaptation assumes, then, that the traditional journalist has to deal now in a field of more diverse options, which demands them skills that they had not previously developed.

The first cost is the change of mentality, knowing how to “play” many instruments without stumbling the chords or harmony, to understand that communication is not unidirectional, instead interactive, and that the readers of today are not simply just receivers or spectators, the readers of today insert themselves in the very center of history… and end up continually building it.

Adding digital platforms to the traditional model to consolidate these two cultures, puts to test the capacity of the high quality journalism to fight in the name on any front, especially now that fake and real news are navigating in parallel, putting into doubt or questioning its main and most expensive quality: the truth.

– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.